Legislative and Regulatory Update
April 2019 by Scott Harn
• Bishop and Curtis seek to rein in Antiquities Act abuses
Congressmen Rob Bishop (R-UT) and John Curtis (R-UT) introduced HR 1664, a bill that would set limits on the use of the Antiquities Act to create national monuments.
The bill would require review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for a proposed monument between 640 acres and 10,000 acres. An environmental assessment would also be required for proposed monuments between 5,000 and 10,000 acres. Congressional approval would be required for larger proposed monuments.
It’s unclear whether this bill has the necessary support to pass in the House.
• Lands bill signed by President Trump
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) made a valiant attempt to stop S 47, a huge public lands bill that included permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), but his effort ultimately failed and the bill passed.
Senator Lee had introduced an amendment to remove the permanent funding, but both Democrats and Republicans joined forces to shoot down his amendment. The reason we—and miners in general—were against the bill is because LWCF funds are used to place additional public lands off-limits regardless of whether or not a mineral survey has been completed.
Senator Lee is all too familar with federal land grabs in Utah; he fought to have the size of national monuments reduced in his state when former President Obama used the Antiquities Act to expand them against the wishes of local legislators.
President Trump really did not have a choice but to sign it after it passed with a veto-proof majority. The bill passed the Senate 92-8, with the following Senators voting against it: Cruz (R-TX), Inhofe (R-OK), Johnson (R-WI), Landford (R-OK), Lee (R-UT), Paul (R-KY), Sasse (R-NE), Toomey (R-PA). A House version passed 363-62.
Renewed interest in mining of gold, silver, copper and other metals in Aroostook County's Bald Mountain triggered 2012 legislation requiring the overhaul of the state's two-decade-old mining regulations.
• Forest Service proposes next step in Agenda 21
• 9th Circuit deals blow to small miners
• California suction dredgers had better prepare for battle
- Massive 660-page lands bill passed in the Senate
"As elected leaders of the State of Alaska, we want you to know that Alaska is open to investment from those who seek to develop our state's natural resources safely and responsibly..."
We have been playing defense for 100% of the game, and now we are finally playing some offense.
The Bawl Mill • Our Readers Say • Ask The Experts - Is there a Forest Service camping limit for mining claims? • Ask The Experts - Should I be focusing on uranium and thorium? • Ask The Experts - What is this sample worth? • Ask The Experts - Need help finding production records • How To File A Mining Claim • Back to Basics--Finding Gold With a Pan and a Sluice • Persistence Leads to Over a Pound of Gold • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: The Superbowl Nugget • Revisiting The Old Mini Patch • Preserving the True History of the Ivanhoe • Carr Fire Gold • Secrets of Successful Prospecting • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices